Sunday, September 6, 2015

ON THE SHELF: CLASSY CONDIMENTS

TRENDS-Fancy Food Show 2015

Shelf stable additions add big taste to home-cooked, plain ole or gourmet meals...oils, spices, mustards, catsups, and sauces...have gone glam...akin to fines wines that invite appreciative sips, embodying characteristics of terroir, weather, primo ingredients and purveyors' know-how.

Other trends for these palate enhancers...like the rest of the Fancy Foods show...ingredients that skew 'natural', non-GMO certified + USDA organic labels.

(Fyi-Salt gets a separate, later post).
even bottled like fine wines...ATLAS Olive Oils from MOROCCO-extra virgin cold pressed from 3 farms in foothills of Atlas Mountains
OILS---olive, hemp, or from fruit seeds---healthy fat claims and added nuances of flavors- even the most undiscerning eaters can appreciate the differences and what the possibilities are-added to dishes.
From KALDI...award winning organic extra virgin olive oil-cold extracted ...from rare Kolovi+Adramytiani Greek olives=floral taste, fresh aromas, golden color. $17.99 per


we didn't think of Palestinian Olive Oils-as artisanal but from Canaan Fair trade markets-olive farming in this conflict region turns up the high end USDA Organic certified selections from a network of 52 cooperatives organized by the Palestine Fair Trade Association. 
Chosen Foods high heat, cold pressed, Non-GMO Avocado Oil naturally refined by gently removing the chlorophyll, waxes,  sediments and free fatty acids...for incredible cooking oil -while retaining 80% of the beta-stisterol found in virgin avocado oil as well as 60% of the vitamin E. 15 avocados in every bottle-as one can imagine from the name of this brand...ha ha...kosher too. Great for mayo making-how we tried our sample. On the right- Chosen Blend with a 490º smoke point (sunflower, avocado+coconut oils).
Traceable-the QR code and unique lot numbers- scans to trace back exactly to the small scale farmer-sources of the Bellucci Olive Oils-something we see more and more of in small batch foods, wines and even clothing...a trend we'd like to see more of too....not just when there's a food illness outbreak.




Just Hemp-made in Canada (of course)...100% Hemp Seed Oil-slight nutty-light taste-naturally with Omega 3s


Gorgeous packaging...HACIENDA GUZMAN-two Manzanilla olives-Extra Virgin Olive Oils...probably coming to specialty stores in the USA soon...on left Organic-sweet with fresh fruity aroma-and very slight bitterness, nutty after taste, limited edition. and in the middle limited edition Family Reserve. ON far right 100% Hojiblanco HG-limited edition. Lovely gifts too-lost in translation - retailing here for around $25- $30...updated info=and now available at Central Market -TX in USA!

SPICE Blends make it easy to add some excitement to everyday food...with regional and ethnic selections finding consumers -native born- and newer arrivals to the USA...open to sophisticated -healthier foods...from all over Planet Earth

The sec we saw this label---'aha'-def. from New Orleans area.Walker & Sons "Slap Ya Mama" Cajun Seasonings...from Ville Platte., Louisiana-Original, white pepper and hot...3 pack $10...and quoting from the website: 
When you use this seasoning, the food tastes so good, you’ll receive a loving slap on the back and a kiss on the cheek for creating such a great tasting Cajun dish. Hence, the name. 
Smoked meats from Louisiana---are regional specialties-and as we smelled one early morning--- New Orleans Cajun spice-that includes garlic- even gets mixed in with the breakfast oatmeal. From The Spice Lab's Scovie Award winner-Gourmet Candied Bacon Rub makes an excellent ham glaze too. $7.95 good for 4-6 lbs of bacon or 3-4 spiral cut hams. AND imo-great on grilled Tofu :-)
KALDI---single serve packets of spices...conveniently packaged!
The Lemonato added a spicy (garlic, mustardy-rosemary) -citrusy (lemon oil) umph to steamed vegetables...and fab for grilling---vegetables or fish...$4.99

Dipping a hunk of chewy bread into oils-is so standard  now-it's almost as if we can't remember the last time with saw pats of butter on a side plate. Add some layers of flavors with The Spice Lab's Olive Oil Dipping Herbs - 6 flavors-$3.99-2oz pouch...we tried the Italian Sun-Dried Tomato Parmesan---mixed with vinegar+olive oil-for an excellent ez salad picker-upper.
From Indonesia...regional spices...next destination for foodies to explore...---plus South America and Africa.
Pretty interesting tasting we tired the Cranberry---seen atop rich chocolate cake (eye candy too) or to infuse truffles with layers of flavors. The herbs would be great as toppings on tacos, ceviches, soufflés. sorbet desserts, or around a glass of tequila- instead of salt...from Fresh Origins...Flower Crystals and Herb Crystals and Fruit Crystals. (Sold through distributors).
Shake Shacks and the like-have elevated even the most basic American tastes for the gourmet American hamburger...as if anyone... shopping just about anywhere in the USA-needed further proof that premium versions of the everyday kitchen staples mustards, catsups and mayonnaise...are better (more natural flavors, less sugar and artificial stuff) and bolder (spicier)-these days.


USA icon Jack Daniel's® heritage Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey lends an edge to T. Marzetti's mustards...6 flavors including spicier Jalapeño, Chipotle, and robust Whole Grain (more natural texture) mustards...FUN.
All ready a success story- NYC based- Non-Gmo verified SIR KENSINGTON's "The Divine Alternative" serves up 12 products (at last count)...including this smooth Dijon mustard...with an ideal balance spice-mustard taste with real deal Chablis wine-adding sweet-tart. Widely available now...


Sir Kensington's Classic Ketchup has 50% less sugar than 'the usual' and 33% less sodium for a richer tomato taste. On right-the handy Yellow Mustard Squeeze...more spicy than sweet-elevates even the doughy street vendor pretzel---we feel like taking this with us to Ranger games this year.. 









Sir Kensington's Mayonnaise uses free range eggs and has 33%less saturated fat that what the FDA calls "Mayonnaise."
Super nice...Mark Ramadan and his buddy (and chef winner Scott Norton)---co-founder-Sir Kensington's. FYI-Pictured above...the Special Sauce=SOFI Award winner
Gourmet, small batch-and still made by hand from humanely raised eggs and non-GMO oils...Empire Mayo is Brooklyn based---and therefore of course, beyond cool. Founders Chef Sam Mason and Designer Elizabeth Valleau debuted their take on this condiment staple at the ginormously popular Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasbord (now in Queens too)...and with a retail shop and coast to coast plus international distribution...Empire Mayonnaise now delivers its ten flavors (last count)-including spicy Sriracha---all over.
the story...


Drew's Chipotle Ranch Dressing and Quick Marinade...adds some classic creamy fancyish taste to everything-even the uncomplicated BLT on white bread toast---or sliced up iceberg lettuce. Non-GMO, gluten-free..

Dave's Gourmet Fiery Foods INSANITY, COOL CAYENNE PEPPER, HURTIN' JALAPENO and ROASTED GARLIC - fire breathin' hot sauces...(new marinara sauces too). Honestly-not tried---we doubt we can handle them -based on reputation alone.. 
POP GOURMET Foods (Huy Fong Sriracha Ketchup+Red Gold®Tomato Ketchup)-we'd say is responsible for the mainstream acceptance of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce Ketchup-real chilis and real sugar for real deal spice. 

Now available-like everywhere ...Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce Ketchup by Pop Gourmet Foods...adds retail USA medium -high salsa level heat to the usual condiment...and can be used as a hot sauce too-imo. Bonus points-inverted 20 oz bottle-good to get out the last drop

Love the retro-labeling...TRUE MADE FOODS...has 25% spinach, carrots and butternut squash -by weight-in every bottle. WOW-that's impressive and one way to get kids to eat their vegetables without them really knowing it---kinda like the schoollunch program proposed when we were growing up. Except-this is the real deal with nutrients/minerals Vitamin A, Fiber, Vitamin C, Iron, B6 and Calcium. NO HFCS, Non-GMO, gluten free and vegan...Original BBQ Sauce, Original Ketchup, and Original Veracha Hot Sauce...

nice gift imo... Sauce 3-Pack $18.95
Sun-dried tomatoes-straight out of a plastic container= one of our fav snacks...and Traina's California Sun Dried Tomato Ketchup manages to capture that intensely flavorful version of this fruit---each 16oz bottle has 4 pounds (yup) of tomatoes onboard. A SOFI award winner for good reason--we had a bottle to demo- that maybe lasted a week....
new Sriracha Sun Dried Tomato Ketchup has a spicy tangy flavor---that's 'hot' enough to qualify as hot sauce in a Bloody Mary ---and like the above-4 lbs of tomatoes in each bottle...(less sugar, less sodium than the usual too).




As mentioned prior-we expect even more sauces and spicy flavors from Asia, Sub Asia, South America and Africa to continue trending here...
CHIMICHURRI is a new trending flavor from Central-South America-a green sauce that has parsley, garlic, olive oil and red (or white vinegar) as staple ingredients-often flavored up with paprika, cumin, thyme, cilantro, or bay leaf.. From Wildly Delicious...a best seller...use as a sauce-on meats (like the Argentinians do)...or as a dipping sauce with fresh cut-up veggies. FYI: Peri Peri (or Piri Piri) is a hot chilly pepper grown in Africa...the sauce has citrus peel, onion, salt, pepper, bay leaves, lemon juice, paprika, basil, tarragon and oregano, typically. Popular - particularly in countries with Portuguese heritage in the mix. 
Having spent size-able chunks of time in overseas areas with limited access to pricy electricity costs-we thought a lot of the intense spices -particularly the fiery ones-that flavor indigenous foods-help ward off bacterial nasties that even native stomachs cannot handle.

Another staple-high fat dairy- butter (or cheeses)...never got refrigerated in many European countries we visited-either...so we didn't have a steep learning curve with the do not refrigerate India staple GHEE.

New -now delivering- 100% lactose free (USA based company) TAVA Life GHEE.. a spreadable butter alternative ...that can also be used in baking.

It has a buttery-nutty taste (classic)-but we tried the TAVA GREEN CHILI GHEE on a baked potato and it is terrific way to get that buttery flavor with some heat. Suggested uses- great to scramble eggs in too-or sauté just about anything.

100% grass fed, lactose free, shelf stable-that's right NO REFRIGERATION even after opening-and cooking wise-up to 482º F but typically mid 300s - fyi no hydrogenated oils like margarine, is rich in butyric acid  a short chain fatty acid that aids digestion...and bonus for endurance athletes-natural source of CLA, and healthy fat soluble Vitamins A, D, E and K.

Simple ingredients---we expect Americans to slowly 'get' GHEE. Factoid=TAVA means 'little cast iron pan' in Hindu...and this California based company -TAVA LIFE--- 4 flavors of GHEE---(Original, Himalayan Salt, and Vanilla Bean too), is available at a bunch of stores and  Thrive.com...
Non-GMO -gluten free (no wheat) ...salty soy sauces by SAN J douse our food, regularly-coming from low blood pressure genes. Sweet and savory... the Tamara Soy Sauce based Mongolian Stir-Fry & Marinade-works on/in many protein based dishes...widely available.





KALDI ---Blood Orange is a deeply aromatic favorable addition to the perfect BBQ sauce...with aromatic ginger and salty olives...in a tomato-y base. Yummy.

Other Fancy Food Show 2015 Posts:

Premier Chocolates+Caramels: Part 1Part 2